Montana Ag: Raising high quality American lamb - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Montana Ag: Raising high quality American lamb

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BILLINGS - For consumers, there are very few things in the meat case can that excite your taste buds like that of American lamb. And U.S. lamb producers are proud to raise this delicious meat protein for consumers of all ages.

Reed Anderson is a lamb producer from Brownsville, Ore. He said American lamb is resonating well with consumers of all ages, especially the huge millennial generation.

“The millennials are looking for something sustainable, local and something that’s flavorful not only to just go out to dinner and eat but they can bring home for a dinner party for their friends,” said Anderson.

He said in addition to great taste, American lamb offers the older generation important nutritional benefits as well.

“Lamb is historically very digestible, so as you get older we need more iron and they can get the iron from the lamb because it’s easily digestible,” he said.

For U.S. lamb producers, competition at the meat case is fierce. As a result, the American Sheep Industry Association is working hard to make sure American lamb remains in the spotlight with consumers. 

“The United States is one of the most open markets in the world for lamb meat, yet key export markets such as Japan and Europe remain closed to American lamb creating the imbalance in trade experienced by US sheep producers,” said Mike Corn, president of the American sheep Industry Association from Roswell, NM. “Markets such as the European Union and United Kingdom maintain significant barriers to lamb imports from the United States and Australia, which directs even more product from the competing global lamb producers to the U.S. market.”

But keeping U.S. lamb producers in business goes beyond imports. American Sheep Industry Association’s Executive Director Peter Orwick said it’s also making sure that they have accurate timely price information to make marketing decisions.

“Like all segments of agriculture, the American sheep industry has experienced considerable processor consolidation the past decade and sheep producers rely on accurate timely price information to make marketing decisions,” said Orwick. “Appropriately applied confidentiality rules for price reporting in a dynamic and changing marketplace should give processors protection that the daily prices they report will not be traceable to them; therefore, protecting their business interests while not being so intractable and onerous as to prevent timely reporting.” 

Although Montana’s total sheep and lamb inventory is down from 2017, producers in Big Sky Country continue to raise some of the highest quality lamb meat in the entire the world.  

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